HOUSTON --You hear it from the ABC11 weather team all the time: Turn around. Don't drown! A man in Houston, Texas learned that the hard way Monday morning on live television.
Reporter Steve Campion with ABC11 sister station KTRK-TV was to go live on a story about flash flooding in the Houston area when a man drove right into the high water behind him.
Campion yelled to the man, "Dude, you've got to get out of the car. You've got to get out!
Suddenly, the car began to sink with the man inside, his door thankfully open.
Campion yelled to the man, "Leave the car, swim!"
Campion walked to the man and helped get to dry land. Campion asked him, "Sir are you OK? Watch your step, sir."
"I'm OK," the man replied.
Campion asked, "Did you not just think the water was that deep?"
The man said, "I did not think it was that deep."
The man, who later identified himself as Andy, tried to turn back to the vehicle, but Campion said, "You've got to leave the car."
Moments later, the car slipped below the water's surface.
The National Weather Service reports each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
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